This course offers students an interdisciplinary approach to the study of new media and communications practices. It focuses on a critical understanding of the rapid changes in media and communications and their social and cultural consequences within an international context. The course combines theoretical and empirical study of the media including issues of media audiences together with the study of developments in information and communication technologies. The course will meet the needs of advanced students with backgrounds in Media, Sociology and other relevent disciplines, as well as professionals
in the communications/broadcast industry seeking to gain a more sociologically informed understanding of those industries. Students typically go on to further advanced academic research or to careers within the media industries (eg as press and
Course Content: Modules are subject to variation and students are advised to check with the School on whether a particular
module of interest will be running in their year of entry. At the time of printing, core modules are likely to be drawn from the following areas: Issues and Controversies in Media and Communication; Media Audiences; Media and Globalization;
Media and Popular Culture; Qualitative Methods in Social and Cultural Research; The Information Society
Teaching and Assessment:
Taught modules are delivered via the traditional lecture/seminar format along with workshops and other set group activities (eg critical analysis of print and audiovisual media; keeping diaries of technology consumption).
Assessment is by a mixture of essays and report writing. A dissertation of approximately 15,000 words is completed over the summer period in consultation with a supervisor.
Examples of recent topics include:
• British press coverage of the Iraq invasion
• TV consumption, identity and lifestyle: a study of the Chinese community in Los Angeles
• The construction of femininity in Sex and the City
• Media bias and the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict
• Constructing a female cyberspace? A case study of Chinese women and the web
• New media and news gathering
• Ethnography of a newsroom in Ghana
• How is authority established in virtual communities?
• The changing nature of cinema-going in Athens
Students typically go on to further advanced academic research or to pursue careers within the media industries (eg press/communications officer).
Here is what a few of our past students have to say:
Sudarshan: ”Studying at Brunel was a real highlight for me and it gave me a valuable opportunity to work alongside students from across the world in a multicultural setting. This course seemed to be tailor-made for my professional life in the media
industry and development sector. After I left Brunel, I worked with different development agencies as well as the Nepalese Government. In my current position as Director of Information and Advocacy with Save the Children in Nepal, I often reflect
back on my media audience and media convergence classes and relate them to my everyday work.”
Tine: "Brunel's campus is ideally placed with easy access to central London and the town of Uxbridge within walking distance. It is a peaceful location and offers all the activities that a student wants from university. My Master's offered me a great extension to my previous Sociology studies in Slovenia, by combining learning the English language to advanced academic level with new insights into the study of Social Sciences. I decided to stay i the UK and am now working for the Slovenian Tourist Board at the Embassy of Slovenia in London."
Nadine: I really enjoyed studying this course. I still have lots of good memories of that time and can thoroughly recommend studying at Brunel. Directly after my studies I started work as a lecturer at RWTH Aachen University in the Department of Sociology, and began teaching. I believe that my studies at Brunel opened the door to this job opportunity. I work as a sociologist and doctoral researcher in the research group Humic in the Human Technology Centre at RWTH Aachen, and I am continuing my focus on gender with recent research on the role of gender in technology acceptance."
Anu: ”I chose Brunel based on my positive prior experience (I undertook a BSc in Media and Communications within the same School). The staff were all very helpful and approachable which made learning enjoyable. The course provided me with an
excellent critical understanding of media and communications theory, which was intellectually stimulating and complemented my practical knowledge. Additionally, the course met my personal needs because it allowed me the flexibility to work whilst studying, as the teaching is concentrated into two days each week. I am currently working as a Senior eLearning Technologist at Brunel. My role entails delivering training and pedagogical consultation regarding the University’s virtual learning environment. My Master’s helped me to develop research and communication skills which have been invaluable in my day to day role. Furthermore, the challenge of undertaking a Masters degree helped nurture a practical skills including time and project management, which are an important facet of my role. I would certainly recommend the course as a stepping stone to a successful future careers in a diverse range of industries.”